India and France today reviewed progress on the Jaitapur Nuclear Project, being set up by the public sector Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and French nuclear engineering firm Areva, and reiterated their commitment to its early implementation as soon as the commercial and technical negotiations, which have made good progress, are completed.

The 9900 MWe Jaitapur nuclear power project is proposed to be set up at Madban village of Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra.
At a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Francois Hollande here, the two sides exchanged views on several bilateral, regional and multi-lateral issues of common and mutual interest.
“We expressed satisfaction with the progress in our defence cooperation, which is poised to reach a qualitatively new level. Discussions on the medim multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract are progressing well,” Dr Singh said at a joint media interaction with Mr Hollande after their talks.
He said the two sides had also concluded negotiations on the Short Range Surface to Air Missile, which, once approved by the Government, will be co-developed and co-produced in India.
“There is a welcome shift from defence trade to co-development and co-production of advanced defence items in India, which will help expand our domestic production base and strengthen the India-France strategic partnership,” he said.
Dr Singh noted that India was Mr Hollande’s first Asian destination for a bilateral visit, which demonstrated the great importance of this relationship to the two countries.
“India regards France as one of its most valued strategic partners. France has given us strong and steadfast support at difficult times. Our relationship is defined by the breadth and diversity of our cooperation, as well as by the intensity of our dialogue. The Joint Statement that is being released today reflects the broad range of activities that is covered by our mutually beneficial engagement,” he said.
Dr Singh said the two countries had also agreed to further strengthen their counter-terrorism and intelligence cooperation.
“France has been a longstanding partner in our space programme. In Septermber 2012, I was happy to witness ISRO’s 100th mission, which successfully put a French satellite in orbit. Later this month, ISRO will launch the integrated SARAL satellite carrying the ALTIKA and ARGOS payloads from the FrenchNational Space Agency,” he said.
The Prime Minister said Mr Hollande and he had agreed on the need to reinvigorate the bilateral economic engagement by harnessing the enormous synergies between the two economies.
“We welcome the appointment of a French Special Representative for the economic relationship with India. We also look forward to the recommendations of the India-France CEOs Forum to energize our economic relations,” he said.
According to him, the Broad-based India-EU Trade and Investment Agreement, currently under negotiation, would open new possibilities for trade and investment between the two countries. He said he had requested President Hollande’s support in ensuring an early conclusion of a balanced and mutually beneficial Agreement.
“Culture is as strong a binding force as any between India and France. The second edition of “Bonjour India” is being organized currently in India. The new Cultural Exchange Programme that was signed today and the decision by French film festivals, including the Cannes festival, to celebrate the centenary of Indian cinema will further strengthen our cultural relations,” he said.
Dr Singh said he and Mr Hollande also had productive discussions on regional and global issues.
“France and India share similar worldviews on many issues, including on the need to stabilize the global economy and combat terrorism. We also discussed the situation in Mali. As part of our support to the Malian defence forces and the African-led International Support Mission, India has announced an assistance of 1 million US dollars at the Donors Conference heldrecently in Addis Ababa,” he added.
Courtesy: NetIndian
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